Take it Easy Man…

dude

Take it easy man,

Draft for an essay on the Dude and the spiritual fatigue

History of anything can be written as history of appropriation. Americans got pasta from Italians who got noodles from China, that kind of idea. With that in mind it is an all fun game of tracing histories of ideas and appropriations in written form. For the actual fact that there must always be a point of view, in other words of who appropriates who / what. And not the other way around. Much harder to establish on the level of ideas.

There is a long standing highly respected tradition of attribution of all or as may quotes as possible, writing of bibliographies at the end of any book or even composing commentaries onto texts with use of only already recognized as classic texts, without much addition at all. Within this dynamic even at a slight glimpse of one feels the weight. The responsibility, it is hard to think, impossible to write and dangerous to draw the next breath in a manner of speaking.

Questions arise:

Is it an original breath or just like others?

If others -which ones?

Mine or some one else’s?

-If only I was properly educated to quote the source materials…

Along comes a movie “Big Lebowski”, which over time effortlessly gathers huge following and status of the classic, or a cult classic.

Because of it’s fame we are all more or less familiar at this point. Now, imagine my incoherent thoughts when in a small meeting of Buddhist minded individuals on the second floor of a café in a small upstate NY town we hear a friend coming along, telling us that they in fact are ordained as Dudeist Priest? Quite frankly it took me a whole day for the idea to sink in to turn to google and look it up. It sure did produce some strong degree of initial interest right away, but muddied, like “is it a joke?” or “do people really take themselves seriously in all of this?” or “This is a thing of a status of a religion based on just a movie?”. I hope you notice the big shadow in the last one that the status of something as a “religion” could cast. It is like a huge figure made of stone propped up on a rooftop high above, -no one wants it falling down to crush a busy market square. So, we hope that it somehow could over time keep getting higher and higher, and away from us, lost in the clouds at last, to possibly affect the all important judgment, but only after a very long life and peaceful, timely death.

On to the subject at hand then, dudeism very openly according to their website borrows from every system of thought that most call a world religion. With Buddhism as one of the major general inspirations. And it maybe time from Buddhists to borrow from the Dude. I personally believe some credit is due. Now, nothing should prevent us from setting up the casual like and dislike, -as in we take this, but not that.

If not for our own spiritual well being (which it will not produce) but rather for delineating of the whole attribution of who is appropriating from who.

Also, as a side note. Yes, there can be very healthy discussion not directed at the people “in the know” but rather others who are looking to get an idea, some sort of scope of what Buddhism is. Yes Buddhism is much better when not termed as a religion, but rather a spirituality or a system of education.

However things are possibly termed as who stands for what. So, considering these ideas of “Take it easy man” and “the Dude abides” were worth my attention as an important statements that “stand for the dude”. The idea of constant judgment of self and others for the sake of unavoidable result: fatigue. Relaxing, all the while keeping the mind limber. While this does not come in an explained as the Buddhist way but if borrowed directly can be of relaxing benefit. If adopted as an attitude of  general approach to the commercial, neatly packaged way of life that does no longer even promise any degree of happiness, just the predictability. Well the result? -One can be happier, will less, much less. This consumer reality of achievement of the predictable next, one after the other, all for the sake of incremental predictable of step by step. Of more of the same, looking forward to having perfect experience of more of the same tomorrow after tomorrow works like addiction without identifiable substance. It is the addiction to the routine, the cleanly written resume of everything that is not thought provoking, where by obtainment of a single bigger box one can open it and get the perfect smaller replicas to come out, all consistently same, tasting alike and assuredly globally branded, thus available world-wide. Instead of seeming degree of possible calm that a monotonous idea like this if maintained should affect, however this very act of maintenance and unhappy disruptions generate all the familiar stress, all the same. So, on a sober note, a clear mind in an attempt to enjoy here and now, to take it easy on consumerism of more and more of same, or more of upgraded same. To abide in that understanding that we have, that happiness comes from within. It is really beautiful and no White Russians or smoking is required, just a degree of that contentment…

So, next time you see me walking down the street in my bathroom robe, do not be alarmed it is not yet dementia, I am just powerfully cutting through my deeply rooted spiritual materialism, by taking it easy.

-With heartfelt thanks for spending a moment, reading my musings,

Sherab Gyatso Alex

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Facebook spam made into a repost :)

Social media is likely the most dominant aspect of The Internet today. It started on commercial scale with feedback on ebay and amazon, forums, blogs and groups. Everyone is suddenly an author and can easily publish an opinion!

Sometimes the material is good and worth a repost, please forgive me if it does sound a bit annoying. Especially when other things are in the news and actually all over social networks.

Inserting pictures that I mentioned in the original write up, making it into a repost.

This conversation was started by a remark of some one I am connected to in replay to the post:

Hello 🙂
This fundraiser started in a way a year ago, end of summer 2015.
This current year Summer Retreat will start on July 10.
I would like to offer as much money as I can raise and will post receipt.

So, please donate if it is possible. And, Thank you!

Conversation (well me talking about myself really, even attempting some humor, like do not contribute to the retreat, just give me money)

Comment:

Facebook connection: Is it compulsory to raise money for conducting a retreat? It’s apparently a business?

My endless reply:

Sherab Gyatso Alex Well, things cost money. And I can use some. I hope you don’t mind.

and

Sherab Gyatso Alex And if supporting “my” retreat feels awkward to you. You can just support me. I understand you may want to know a bit more about me.So, if you like, you can write to me, I do not really “chat” on facebook, but a session of questions and answers can be always good.

https://www.gofundme.com/wu3tec48  Also, here is my blog: http://www.choying.org  Totally feel free not to contribute at all. Most people feel that way anyway.

Feeling that my humor from above will be completely lost I wrote a bit more serious here:

Sherab Gyatso Alex There are two ways to look at it from perspective of the money.
Money is the object of veneration and reward and the amount directly indicates the level of any idea. Then there is a facebook meme passed around that I like. It depicts native people from Amazon River region asking us: They have no money, no debt, no crime, no prison, so on so forth then it asks: Why do we think that we are the smart ones?  [inserting the meme / picture in the blog repost]

amazonians

Idea from another meme with the Dalai Lama picture in it comes to mind: Modern people spend all of their health while young to make money, then later in life spend all of the money to restore the health. [inserting the meme / picture in the blog repost]

DalaiLama

In case of many spiritual practitioners, well, some of us are not good at making money (myself for sure). And unfortunately we do not really live in money-less culture.

In situations like retreat of any kind there are associated costs of all sorts. So, anyone with any degree of positive thinking in this regard should feel free to contribute any small amount that they would not regret having given away.

It is obviously completely voluntary and should be done if can be afforded without strain.

From my side I promise full respect to you contribution.

May any connection made through this message or any resultant activity be of benefit.

 

Disclaimer. These pictures are widely circulated originals made by some one assuming sharing and circulation and are thus used without attempt to secure permission. If these meme/pictures were made by you and you object to my usage, please let me know. Image of the Dalai Lama does not constitute any personal connection from me or any understanding. I just like it in the meme/picture format.

Upstate fog

south_fog

Unreal Fog in southern direction, Binghamton NY.

As it is called “Upstate” it is ever so slightly higher, than in the morning it is impossible to tell if this mountain top is covered by fog or is it a cloud drifting through, both happen.

So, it is possible to be “up in the clouds”…

So you should view this fleeting world —
A star at dawn, a bubble in a stream,
A flash of lightening in a summer cloud,
A flickering lamp, a phantom, and a dream.
-From the Diamond Sutra of the Lord Buddha

Looking for more of Binghamton NY content

20160422_152644

-Dandelion’s season~

Here is a non-effort, effort on facebook in a way of the group. Don’t you love it, you start it, leave it, and it gains little, by little some sort of traction? Maybe, I don’t know, but social media is very important now-a-days, it looks like.

https://www.facebook.com/groups/tbtbinghamton

Here is a message I wrote on on the timeline on another good local group here:

https://www.facebook.com/groups/983603978332294/

Dear Friends,

I have moved to Binghamton at the end of last summer from NYC.

My personal idea in regards to groups and meetups in the Binghamton area is that such must always maintain some sort of schedule of visits to near-by grand Buddhist temples.
Reason for this is that all around Upstate NY we have really grand temples, they are not too far and have various seasonal or year round programs and they are in our “backyard”…

So, yes Binghamton may seem as a narrow well, but if one to look out it is an ocean out there.

I have gone to two meetup meetings with Charles Goodman and planning to stop by Michael O’Sullivan’s meet up for sure.

I have also had a meetup running for half a year with regular meetings in my home’s shrine room. But there was total of 3 people showing up ever and I have discontinued the meetup site.

However, if any of you would like to connect locally here for any reason, please feel free to add my personally or join the Binghamton local facebook group I started here:
https://www.facebook.com/groups/tbtbinghamton -Tibetan Buddhist Temple Binghamton.

With the hope that if we connect on a friendly, informal footing, we will have more Buddhist related events, get-togethers, friendships, flourish and increase.

Your friend,

Sherab Gyatso Alex

About

This blog was started in 2006 on Yahoo 360 platform, which is no longer run by yahoo, I have used it to publish bits and pieces of various discussions that took place in e-mail and share photos, personal observations and such, may it be of some benefit, it was and is meant well!

My name is Alex Sherab Gyatso, so Alex, is most likely but If I am alert enough, i will try to answer to “hey You” but you know, there maybe a problem there 🙂

The handle used on yahoo is a last line of so called “Immutable Seven Line Prayer” (To Guru Rinpoche, the Padmasambhava): Guru (Master) Pema (Lotus) Siddhi(Accomplishments) Hum(Petition for, as in “Please Bestow”), so Gurupemasiddhihum.

I live in NYC.

Here is 1st post on the original blog:

Opening entry:

February 22, 2006 This is going to be 1st entry into this blog.
I plan to post pictures and quotations, as well as some narrations if time permits. By posting all of this I realize that none of this material belongs to me or would be taken as something that I understand better then others or at all. If I am at fault of using any of this improperly, it is my fault alone. If at any point any one would like to contact me regarding any matters associated with this blog or any other issue that may arise, please feel free to do so.
May we all realize 2 purposes of benefiting others and our selves without even as much as a hint of self-importance.

Found…


One day last year at the time of similar hot weather upon ariving at work I learned that waitress forgot to order bottled water and we had none. Naturally I thought it to be a good reason to go out and pick some up. I did not plan very well. Half way back with a heavy case of glass bottles on my shoulder I was feeling a bit hot 🙂

Then I spotted a lotus of a surely standing bodhisattva statue protruding from a cardbord box at a curb that was filled with refuse. Reaching in I was able to recover a 16″ tall statue in perfect shape.

It was of this tremendously honored in Japan and Korea Saint:

Ksitigarbha – in Indian language.

Dayuan Dizang Pusa – in Chinese language.

Sayi Nyingpo – in Tibetan language.

Daigan Jizō Bosatsu – in Japanese language.

Ji Jang Bosal – in Korean Language.

Here is almighty wiki to the rescue:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ksitigarbha

And here is a start and the end of a story related on the page linked above:

“… At the time, monks and scholars arrived from those countries to
seek the Dharma in China. One of these pilgrims was a former prince from
Silla whose Korean romanization was Kim Kiaokak (Ch: Jin Qiaojue(金喬覺))
and became a monastic under the name of Earth Store (Also called Jijang,
the Korean pronunciation of Dizang).[4] He came to the region of Anhui
to Mount Jiuhua. After ascending, he decided to build a hut in a deep
mountain area so that he may be able to cultivate…..”
and:

“….The monk lived in Mount Jiuhua for seventy five years before
passing away at the age of ninety-nine. Three years after his nirvana,
his tomb was opened, only to reveal that the body had not decayed.
Because the monk led his wayplace with much difficulty, most people had
the intuition to believe that he was indeed the transformation body of
Ksitigarbha.Monk Jijang’s well-preserved, dehydrated body may still be
viewed today at the monastery he built on Mount Jiuhua….”

This picture is a representation common in Japan, Here the Bodhisattva is like a tree caring for many children. Picture on top of the post is a very similar to the statue that i found.

Back in Mexico

A while back receiving teaching from Lama Thubten Phuntsog on Pacific Street, I remember well, at one point Lama looked at all of us, about 8 people, Then Lama said: “And if you can not stay in retreat, practicing meditation in solitude, then your last chance to practice is to be like Jetsun Milarepa, to stay in meditation always, during all of your activities.”

A while back i ended up working in a kitchen as a cook, due to financial considerations and obvious lack of interest in any career, having taken Lama’s advice to my heart, I am just too happy, actually. And all the people call me “Buddha” at work. And I was lucky enough to coin a joke: “Where else can you find a still working Buddha, these days?!”.
After I was asked if I mind to be called “Buddha”, I told them that it is ok, because I do remind them of something like that, and I myself am without any ambition. Oh, in the picture above i am sticking my belly out as far as i can to look like a “fat chef”, so i guess there is that! hehe

With heartfelt prayer that all followers of Guru Rinpoche, the Padmasambhava be able to practice like that: Non Meditation and Non Distraction. Actualizing the Union of Clarity and Emptiness, effortlessly,


Quote from Glimpse After Glimpse:

Rest in natural great peace
This exhausted mind
Beaten helpless by karma and neurotic thought,
Like the relentless fury of the pounding waves
In the infinite ocean of samsara.
Rest in natural great peace.
-NYOSHUL KHEN RINPOCHE